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The Fowler, the Hawk, and the Lark

(Recueil 1, Livre 6, Fable 15)



From wrongs of wicked men we draw

Excuses for our own:

Such is the universal law.

Would you have mercy shown,

Let yours be clearly known.

A fowler's mirror served to snare

The little tenants of the air.

A lark there saw her pretty face,

And was approaching to the place.

A hawk, that sailed on high

Like vapour in the sky,

Came down, as still as infant's breath,

On her who sang so near her death.

She thus escaped the fowler's steel,

The hawk's malignant claws to feel.

While in his cruel way,

The pirate plucked his prey,

On himself the net was sprung.

"O fowler," prayed he in the hawkish tongue,

"Release me in your clemency!

I never did a wrong to you."

The man replied, "It's true;

And did the lark to you?"

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 6, Fable 15



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